Four Rutland County high school teams advanced to the final four, in their respective sports and divisions, and stood just two wins away from claiming a state championship. However, by the time the dust settled on Saturday, February 28th only one of those teams, the Proctor Phantoms, managed to bring the title home. The remaining three teams were all eliminated in the semifinals.
Let us begin with the fifth seeded Rutland Raiders girls hockey team. After advancing to the semifinals of the Lake Division by winning post season games over Rice and Harwood, the Raiders were eliminated by the top seeded Missisquoi Valley Union Thunderbirds 3-1 on Monday, February 23rd. Missisquoi got first period goals from Emiley Ledoux, Riley Fontaine and Erin McDonald, and then kept the Raiders from coming back. Rutland's lone goal, provided by Ashley Boucher, also came in the opening period, and at the time tied the game at 1-1. Deanna Rodolfy kept the Raiders in the contest by making 21 saves. Rutland completed a successful season, finishing 16-6-2. MVU, who blew a 2 goal lead and lost to Burr and Burton 3-2 in last Friday's championship game, finished the year at 21-2.
The Mill River Minutemen boys basketball team, who were the top seed in the Division II tournament. survived a quarterfinal scare by the Burr and Burton Bulldogs, before being eliminated on Monday the 23rd in the semifinals by the fourth seeded Springfield Cosmos 62-41. Grant White scored 34 points, and hauled in 15 rebounds to lead the Cosmos to their only win over Mill River this season in three tries. Ethan Bicskei, who hit four, three-pointers, led the disappointed Minutemen with 19 points. Mill River finished the year at an impressive 19-4. Springfield, who went on to defeat the Vergennes Commodores 59-31 in the Division II State Championship, completed the year at 18-6.